September 26th, 2006
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom have won the Colorado Cog Rally, Round 7 of the Rally America National Championship. The 22 year-old freestyle motocross legend and rising rally star won eight of the fifteen competition stages and claimed victory in his 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car. This marks Pastrana’s third rally win in a row after winning Gold at the X Games Rally then claiming victory at last month’s Ojibwe Forest Rally. This latest win puts him one step closer to becoming the Overall Driver’s Champion in the highly competitive Rally America National Championship, where Pastrana now enjoys a comfortable lead atop the Driver’s standings.
The Colorado Cog Rally is based in the beautiful year-round resort community of Steamboat Springs, just a short drive west into the mountains from Denver. The rally includes fast sections of high altitude gravel roads that turned treacherously muddy for this weekend’s rally after heavy rains moved through the region. But Pastrana seemed at home in the difficult conditions and lead the rally from stage three and went on to win over half of the event’s stages to claim the overall victory.
“The conditions on the first day were just so slick and greasy, we had to drive very carefully everywhere,” explained Pastrana. “But a combination of our BFGoodrich Tires and a great setup on our Subaru provided a good amount of confidence, we were able to build a lead and maintain it. These roads were really high speed too, very challenging!”
Pastrana is the first driver to win more than one 2006 Rally America National Championship event. The growing series has seen six different winners from the first six events this year, a testament to the strong and diverse level of competition. The win puts Pastrana firmly in the Overall lead of the driver’s standings and a good result at the penultimate round, the Lake Superior Rally, could clinch the driver’s title for Pastrana. In only his second full year of rallying, Pastrana has quickly proven to the World that his talents extend far beyond riding a motorcycle.
Pastrana’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate Ken Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino started off strongly on day one of the rally, winning two stages outright and challenging Pastrana for the lead. However, as Block won stage seven and subsequently cut Pastrana’s lead down to just over one second, his car suffered an engine failure and the squad was forced to retire from the event. Although the cause of the failure is still being investigated by the team, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI has an impeccable reliability record in the hands of the Vermont SportsCar team; the last event-ending mechanical failure for the two car team was over a year and a half ago.
Pastrana and Block will be back in action with their Open Class Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars at next month’s Lake Superior Rally based in the Upper Michigan town of Houghton. For Subaru Rally Team USA news and event photo galleries please log onto www.rally.subaru.com . Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, STI (Subaru Tecnica International), SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning), Alpinestars, Motul, PIAA, Recaro, Meguiars and Vermont SportsCar.